Who will discover music’s next big star? Through a new initiative which launches on America Online today called “First Break,” AOL members will have the exclusive opportunity to choose an unknown talent and award them a demo deal from Atlantic Records, an appearance on the popular Sessions@AOL program and a one-year membership to Tonos (AOL Keyword: Tonos).
First Break, which will debut on AOL Music April 1, will give AOL members the chance to hear original songs from 10 unsigned artists (five in May and five in June) and vote for their favorite each month. In addition to the Atlantic deal and Sessions@AOL appearance, the winning artist will also receive a one year subscription to Tonos, an online musician’s network which helps artists break into the industry with access to top music industry execs, and a global network of musicians, songwriters and producers.
Bill Wilson, Vice President and General Manager, AOL Music, said: “AOL members, who have already made AOL Music the number one music destination on the Internet, will now be able to put their expertise to the test and find the next big star. We expect First Break to be very competitive, as these acts will be performing their own songs and will have one chance to impress our members.”
The First Break program will be held over a three month period and will be open to any unsigned artist. Artists will need to submit two songs and 10 finalists will be chosen by AOL Music judges, who will review them based on songwriting, performance and musical ability. Complete contest rules are available at AOL Keyword: First Break. AOL members will be able to vote for one of five artists based on the same criteria during the first month and the remaining five artists will be voted on during the second month. The winners of each month will go head to head in the final month when AOL members will vote for the top act.
AOL’s First Break schedule follows:
April 1-15: Entries accepted for May April 16- May 15: Entries accepted for June May 1- 29: Online voting for May finalist at AOL Keyword: First Break June 1-29: Online voting for June finalist at AOL Keyword: First Break July 1-15: Final voting at AOL Keyword: First Break July 16-31: First Break winner’s song will be showcased on AOL Music
In addition to links to each song under consideration, AOL Music will showcase photos of the artists and a short biography of each. Visitors to Keyword: First Break will also be able to access message boards focusing on competing artists, news and updates on developments in the contest. AOL members will also be able to participate in polls and quizzes plus download ringtones and screensavers. A feature called “My First Break” will showcase an established act speaking about his or her first big break.